I was reading today (as I do every day of life), my book entitled, “The Book of Concord: The Confessions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church”), about the Sacrament of baptism. This book is a thick book, containing all of the confessional documents of the early Reformers on things Lutheran (see image right.). A real yawner unless you’re interested in this stuff, as I am.
Anyhow, I thought this one thing was particularly interesting, and something we all can relate to. In talking about the “benefits” of baptism, Luther compared the benefits – victory over death and the devil; forgiveness of sin; God’s grace; the entire Christ (I like that term), and the Holy Spirit to a medical treatment. He asks us to imagine a doctor in our neighborhood who had so much skill that people visiting him or her would never die, and even those who had already died would still live eternally. He says just imagine how the world would rain money upon this person, and that because this doctor could bring a patient eternal life, imagine the line of people around his or her house, just waiting to get near the doctor. This is how we give thanks to God for our own baptism, so powerful are the benefits to us. (I hate that word “benefits” but I can’t think of a better one right now. You get the point.)
Luther goes on to say that such is the gift of baptism – a free treasure brought to everyone’s door – a medicine that swallows up death and keeps people alive! Just imagine your own baptism in this same way, and draw strength and comfort from it when our sins or our conscience oppress us, and say, “But I am baptized!”. And you and I do have this promise of eternal life in Jesus Christ. Right? Right. Amen.
July 8th, 2021